For more information regarding our move, please read the two last post published below.

10 April 2007

2006-2007 Quarter-Finals predictions...

After diggesting the appetizer (rankings), here's the main platter, and you'll be all set for the playoffs...

Eastern Conference

(1) BUF vs (8) NYI
Matthew M: BUF in 5
I'd like to thank the Isles for making this summer so much easier to stomach after eliminating the Leafs with their shootout win against New Jersey. However, I have to take the very deep and very talented Buffalo Sabres. They have that "Team of Destiny" likeness to them.
Also, without star netminder Rick DiPietro in nets, New York is toast.
BBeR: BUF in 5
As Matthew, I chose the Sabres in 5.
Their roster is simply better than the Islanders, they have more offensive talent than the Islanders do and their team has, perhaps, the best coach in the NHL.
The Sabres have been no. 1 in the East since Day 1, what does that tell you?
Yup, and with Afinogenov and Conolly returning, the team is setting their eyes on the big prize, and they'll start by going through the Islanders in 5.
I'll give the Islanders credit for knocking the Leafs out, but, I don't think they can manage to win more than once against this team, just look at their season series and their most recent game and your answer will be right in front of you.
Oh, and Matt, Dubielewicz is not DiPietro, but c'mon, the guy is 4-1-0 this year and he's been solid...he's not DiPietro though.

(2) NJ vs. (7) TB
Matthew M: NJ in 6
This should be an interesting battle of defense vs. offense. Though, have to go with Martin Brodeur over any of the three netminders Tampa may ice. If the Bolts do sneak by the Devils, it will be thanks to Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis.
BBeR: NJ in 6
I made these picks this morning! Matt made his 43 minutes ago, so far, we have the same opinion.
The Lightning's inconsistency this season concerns me, but, their season record against the Devils is a healthy 3-1. Just for that, they'll give the Devils a scare, but nothing more.
The two-headed monster of Johan Holmqvist and Marc Denis are also the difference maker in my decision. Holmqvist had some nice moments, and Denis just sucked all year long.
Lecavalier and St. Louis will be tough to play against, but, we all know what Jersey does to those offensive teams...Martin Brodeur's between the pipes, and you know these games will be tight. Maybe one goal games, or two, nothing more, the Bolts will have a tough time getting to Brodeur and New Jersey's attack is very enigmatic at this point.
Bottom line: They're known more for playing defence than offence.

(3) ATL vs. (6) NYR
Matthew M: NYR in 7
Jagr and Shanahan.
BBeR: ATL in 7
Kovalchuk and Hossa, don't forget Kozlov.

(4) OTT vs. (5) PIT:
Matthew M: OTT in 6
This looks to be the most offense filled series of all. I give the edge to Ottawa thanks to their better defense corps. It should be interesting to see how much Crosby comes alive in the playoffs, though.
BBeR: OTT in 7
It remains to be seen how Marc-Andre Fleury's play in the playoffs will roll out, and for that matter, the Pens' youngsters too.
Most of their roster has not appeared in a playoff game, we all know Crosby will be a show, but, so will Spezza, Heatley and Alfredsson.
Ottawa takes it in 7, just because they have the slight edge of experience and this:
Spezza+Heatley+Alfredsson= 279 pts (113 G, 166 A) whereas Crosby+Malkin+Recchi= 273 pts.
That's a 6 point differential between the teams' best players...Ottawa offence is more "deep", shall we say than Pittsburgh's, which is centered mainly around Crosby.
Ray Emery has also seen playoff ice before.
It should be a very interesting series, but, I think the "choke" term will soon be gone from the words "Ottawa Senators".

Western Conference

(1) DET vs (8) CGY
Matthew M: DET in 6
Detroit has choked too many times in recent years to not do well this time around. Dominik Hasek is in good condition and makes this team that much more capable of beating anyone and everyone.
BBeR: DET in 5
Everyone thought the Wings minus Shanahan and Yzerman would just be plain ordinary.
They were wrong, not only have the Wings finished atop the West yet again, but Dominik Hasek showed he's still the Dominator.
Despite scoring 50 less goals than last season, the Wings managed to have the best record in the Western Conference and tied for the best in the NHL.
Kipprusoff's play will be key for the Flames, but, barring any living miracle, I doubt the Flames will be able to outscore the Wings, even with Iginla healthy.
Detroit should breeze by this time, but, don't forget about what everyone said when the Oilers played them last year...

(2) ANA vs (7) MIN
Matthew M: ANA in 4
Alright, nothing against the Wild here. Minnesota is a capable team, but the Ducks are here to destroy everyone in their way. Also, I felt obligated to predict a sweep somewhere; the Ducks are my logical choice.
BBeR: MIN in 7
You know how every year there's a Cinderella fairy-tale team?
Last year, it was the Oilers, this year, it's the Wild, led by new number one guy Niklas Backstrom.
Backstrom emerged as an elite stopper after the inconsistent Manny Fernandez went down with a serious injury some time ago.
He ranks first in the NHL in GAA (1.97) and SPCT% (.929) and may make a serious run to win the Vezina Trophy.
He will be key for the Wild, who have not scored many goals but lead the league in GAA.
The Ducks have just not been the force they were in the first half during the second stanza of the season.
Their lead slipped in the Pacific Division and they nearly lost it to their opponent: the Wild.
Oh, and every year, there's a 7 seed that beats the 2 seed.
This'll be it: the games will be tight, but, I think the Wild have what it takes.

(3) VAN vs (6) DAL
Matthew M: DAL in 7
Dallas will pull the biggest upset of all. It's tough to pick Luongo to lose the goaltending battle, but Turco has everything to prove this year. Marcus Naslund better play big or I'm not even sure that it will make it to 6 games.
BBeR: VAN in 6
Three words: Turco's playoff stats.
8-14, 2.53 GAA, .892 SPCT%
Turco has to prove he can play in the playoffs, his .868 save percentage last season is very frightening.
He may turn out to be another Roman Cechmanek if this keeps up.
The Sedin twins and Brendan Morrison, along with Sami Salo's shot and Kevin Bieksa's breakout, will give the win to a hungry Canucks team.
And, it doesn't hurt that they have a guy named Roberto Luongo in goal.

(4) NSH vs (5) SJS
Matthew M: SJS in 5
Forsberg who? Like Turco, it's Thornton 's turn to prove something in the post-season. Also, I'm a Craig Rivet homer and wish him all the success possible. Bill Guerin will out-stage Forsberg in my opinion.
BBeR: SJS in 6
The menacing trio of Marleau, Thornton and Cheechoo and with Bill Guerin to compliment that, there's no telling how far the Sharks will go this post-season.
The Preds will give them a run for their money, but, Forsberg has been a bust and the team, like the Ducks, have slipped a little in the second half.
I also hope Rivet goes all the way :)

Et pour finir...and to finish...

Matthew M: Completely off the top of my head predictions. However, I stand by them completely. If you're wondering who I really want to see win: San Jose & Pittsburgh!
BBeR: I want Minny to go all the way, but, I can see the Canucks losing to the Sabres in the Cup Final...

2 fanatics have replied:

Matthew Macaskill said...

Nyce man, thanks for letting me do that with ya.

Some interesting picks there :D.

Bleu, Blanc et Rouge said...

Hey, no problem, there are no Habs now, so all us Habs fans have gotta stick together in these times of darknes :D

No but really, I want Minny to win it all.

© 2007 Bleu, Blanc et Rouge.

All Rights Reserved. The content of this blog is the sole opinion of these bloggers and does not represent an opinion of any kind of a professional NHL hockey team mentioned.